If you’re anything like me, you:
- are usually running late for something,
- like looking pretty and put together when you go out,
- and have the hairstyling skills of a handicapped sloth.
Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot about dying hair (and about how to repair all the damage from dying it), but when it comes to actually styling it, I’m totally lost. I used to have roommates at summer camp who would do these beautiful, elaborate braids every day, while I could barely get my hair to cooperate enough for a messy bun. I don’t even own a curling iron. If I did, I wouldn’t know how to use it.
My point is, if I can do these hairstyles, anyone can. And, as an added bonus, each of them only takes about a minute to do, so they’re great for days when I’m running super late, or for when I’m in a lazy mood but don’t want to look lazy. (Hello, early morning classes!)
Sorry that there aren’t any photos with any of these tutorials. I’m still sick, so I wasn’t able to take pictures for these tutorials like I normally would. Hopefully my instructions are clear enough that you don’t need photos to know what to do.
the ballet bun
I was in dance classes literally from my toddler years up to my second year of high school, so the one hairstyle I’ve really, really mastered is the basic ballet bun. It’s super easy, super fast, and (in my opinion) a little bit prettier and more professional than a basic messy bun.
- Put your hair in a high ponytail. I mean really high. Like, literally on the crown of your head. Secure with a hair elastic.
- Take this ponytail, and twist it into a “snake”. Your snake should be pretty tight, and don’t worry if you have little flyaways. If you want, you can wet your hands and run them through your ponytail first, to get the hair damp. (This makes it easier to work with.)
- Take your twisted “hair snake” and wrap it around the base of the ponytail. This part always reminds me of a cinnamon roll.
- Take a second hair elastic and tie it around your bun to secure it. If you need to, you can use bobby pins to pin down any stray wisps of hair.
- *optional* If you want your bun to be bigger, you can gently tug on it to add more volume. Just be careful not to tug too hard, or you’ll pull the hair completely out of the bun.
double buns/space buns/sailor moon buns/whatever you want to call these
When I was little, I used to ask my mom to give me “Princess Leia buns.” This is one of my favorite cutesy hairstyles (as anyone who has seen my Fire Emblem Fates avatar will attest to). And the best part? If you can do a ballet bun, you can do space buns, because it’s literally the exact same process.
- Part your hair down the middle and divide it into two equal halves.
- Put your hair into two ponytails on either side of your head. The hardest part is getting them even. If you need to, keep adjusting one or the other until they look more or less symmetrical.
- Turn each ponytail into a mini ballet bun using the steps I went over.
- Again, if you want more volume, you can gently tug on the buns to make them bigger and fluffier.
the high ponytail
I’m assuming that you all know how to put your hair in a ponytail. (You grab the hair, smooth it back, and tie it with an elastic – this ain’t exactly rocket science.) So instead of giving you instructions for something you already know how to do, here’s some tips for how to get a smooth, sleek ponytail with no bumps or flyaways:
- Start off with damp hair. You can get your hair damp by wetting your hands and then running them through it, by spritzing it with a spray bottle full of water, or (if you’re a morning shower person), only blowdrying your hair until it’s about 90-95% dry after washing it.
- Squeeze a little bit of hair gel into your hands before you start smoothing your hair back into the ponytail. This will help keep your hair smooth and sleek.
- Use a generous amount of hairspray, and then run your fingertips over your hair before it can dry, smoothing the little baby hairs down one last time.
- If you want a really soft, shiny ponytail, use a hair serum or hair oil. Squeeze a little bit into your hand, then run it through the length of your ponytail.
Braids are adorable. They’re cute, and feminine, and sweet. Double braids are even better – twice the cuteness! But when I look at braid tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest, a lot of them are super complicated and hard to follow. These are not those braids. This is just a basic plait that’s been jazzed up a little.
- Divide your hair into two equal halves like you did for the double buns. Put one half into a ponytail just to keep it out of the way.
- Take the other half and divide it into three sections. Take one of the outside sections and cross it over the middle section, then take the other outside section and cross it over the first section. Repeat this process all the way down until you have a braid. Secure with a hair elastic. (If you want a softer look, you can start the braids just below your ears.)
- Once both braids are done, gently tug on the plaits to loosen them up. Be careful not to tug too much, or you may pull the hair out of the braid. A couple of gentle tugs is all you need to get bigger, fluffier braids.
“donut bun” without the donut
I don’t know if you guys have seen those “hair donut” thingies for sale at Walmart, but I had friends in high school who were obsessed with them. This is a super fast, super easy way to get the same look without going out and spending three dollars on a piece of foam to stick in your hair. Hooray for not spending money on things!
I can’t actually take credit for this one. This is a hairstyle I learned from bubzbeauty on YouTube in her “1 Minute Korean Bun” tutorial (I’m not sure what makes this hairstyle Korean, but I’ll go with it). There are only, like, three steps to this hairstyle, which means it’s even less complicated than my ballet buns. (I know that in the video she says that this style works better on curled or textured hair, but I’ve done it on my natural hair and it turned out great!)
and if all else fails…
… just go natural! A lot of people dislike their natural hair, and I think that’s a shame. Your natural hair is beautiful. Embrace it.